Government

Glen Ellyn voters will decide park district bond referendum

Funds would upgrade park properties, add new park lands

GLEN ELLYN – The Glen Ellyn Park District announced it is pursuing a $15.9 million bond referendum to raise revenue to repair, improve and expand facilities, upgrade four park properties spread throughout the district and purchase additional land for parks. The referendum question will be on the June 28 election ballot.

“We conducted communitywide surveys in late 2021 and early 2022 and our residents were pretty aligned in identifying a series of projects they would like to see us undertake,” Alex Durham, Glen Ellyn Park District Board of Commissioners president, said in a news release. “With a strong directive from our residents, our board voted unanimously to put the referendum on the June 2022 ballot.”

Projects the community identified as priorities include:

• Improve, equip and maintain Sunset Pool.

• Expand, improve, equip and maintain Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center.

• Improve, equip and maintain other parks, some which have not been improved in 50 years.

• Acquire additional land to expand parks.

Although the Glen Ellyn Park District continues to maintain a longstanding conservative approach to fiscal management, available funds will not cover the full cost needed for these necessary repairs and improvements, according to the release.

“Repairs and improvements to several older park facilities were identified during needs assessments,” Dave Harris, Glen Ellyn Park District executive director, said in the release. “Lake Foxcroft Park was last improved in the 1970s, Babcock Grove Park was last improved in 1994 and Churchill Park in 2006.

“To date, we have made no investment in a parcel of land along Lenox Road that was purchased in 2007. All of them need upgrades. With the residents’ approval, we will be able to expedite these projects and continue providing Glen Ellyn Park District residents high-quality park and recreation facilities along with outstanding services.”

Funding made possible if voters approve the referendum also would enable the district to address repairs and improvements and would strengthen its financial ability in future years, according to the release.

“For example, an expanded gymnastics center would accommodate extensive wait lists while generating increased earned revenue,” Harris said. “That increased revenue will further support and contribute to the ongoing maintenance of all park district assets.”

Without funding from the proposed referendum, major repairs and improvements to these and other facilities will be deferred to later years or not addressed at all, according to the release. The district would continue its current practice of only one significant capital effort every eight to 10 years while addressing ongoing yearly capital needs based on priorities and available funding.

The district will hold a series of open houses and other educational opportunities for residents to learn more about proposed park and facility improvements, upgrades and park expansion that would be made possible if voters approve the referendum.